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Solitaire
Beauty and the Beach

Solitaire

Solitaire
Paul Gavin, Oil on canvas, 1991

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A Love Story, an Artist, a Painting, and a Beautiful Woman

Paul Gavin Fine Art For a long time I was looking for the perfect subject to paint a beautiful and sensuous Beach Girl type painting. Yet they were either too self-conscious looking or just not elegant enough. What was needed was, as Goldilocks said, something "just right"!

One day in 1984 while walking to lunch at Neptune's Locker on the Huntington Pier I caught a glimpse of an attractive girl who had just stepped into the very shallow and long shore break area and was rinsing and cooling off. I was able to snap about six quick photos, one of which turned out to be this pose as she lifted one foot to look back to make sure there was no sand on her calf.

Not to be too forward or scary I walked down, introduced myself and gave her my card, explaining what I had done, and told her she could check references and call back to see what resulted. She never did.

For the next six years I worked on and off on the piece, developing the figure and the water to capture exactly what I wanted. As we all know, the shallow California surf is a gray green color, which just didn't work.

Also there was someone whom I dated two years before I took this picture whose hair I always wanted to paint. I liked the way she braided it. (She thought I was a bit two intense and after six months dating she had had enough. How could that be? Was it maybe because I had told her only a couple of weeks after we met that we should be married and do art together? She was an artist I considered much more talented than myself. And although she was only 19 and I was 28 I believed that we could have a good life together. She disagreed.

So, making those changes, the painting was completed finally in 1991.

And long story made short, we re-met 10 years later and were married one year after that.

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Summer Breeeze

Related paintings from the Beauty and the Beach Series include Summer Breeze and Our Ladies of Paris.

Our Ladies of Paris

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